Hot Legal Topics of 2022.

AuthorSteingard, Jessica


Reading Time: 5 minutes

You asked and we answered-questions about interest rates, rent increases, layoffs and terminations of employment, grants of probate and conversion therapy.

As another year ends, it's a time to reflect back on the year that was and look forward to the year that will be. I think many of us are still processing 2020 and the arrival of COVID-19, yet here we are almost three years later!

We looked back at the most frequent questions we received as well as our most-visited webpages in 2022. Below we have summarized what the law says about these hot topics and have pointed you in the direction of more information.

Inflation and rising interest rates

Inflation continues to be a persistent problem. The Bank of Canada has raised the policy interest rate by 4 points to 4.25% (as of December 7, 2022 and more hikes are still possible by the end of the year). When the economy is growing quickly, raising the policy interest rate increases the cost of borrowing money and discourages spending. In turn, the economy grows slower, which reduces inflation.

So, what does the law say about inflation and interest rates?

First, Canada's Constitution Act, 1867 gives the federal government jurisdiction over interest and banking (except for credit unions and treasury branches). Exercising its authority, the federal government enacted the Bank of Canada Act, which gives the Bank of Canada its authority. Section 21 says the Bank must publicly share the minimum rate at which it is prepared to make loans or advances. This is the policy interest rate. So, while interest rates are about economics, the authority to manage the economy is based in law.

Learn more about the policy interest rate from the Bank of Canada's website.

Rent increases

We continue to receive many questions about rent increases from both tenants and landlords. Are they legal? When can a landlord increase rent? By how much can a landlord increase rent?

So, what does the law say about rent increases?

Alberta's Residential Tenancies Act governs the relationship between most landlords and tenants in the province. It includes terms that landlords and tenants cannot contract out of. The Act says when a landlord can increase rent and the notice they must give, all depending on whether it is a fixed tenancy (with an end date) or periodic tenancy (such as month-to-month). However, the Act does not say anything about how much the rent increase can be.


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